Nicole russel and her family learned first-hand about the challenges many children face in the foster care system.
The in-depth story is not for Russell to share, but it is what she learned during this process that encouraged her and her mother to form Precious Dreams Foundation, an organization that serves young people as they enter and leave shelters and homeless shelters. The organization also helps provide relief during their most difficult times of transition.
“A number of children in the foster care system are going through this system without bedtime assistance and I thought of all those kids who might have bad dreams and rough nights and that’s how This idea of the foundation was born, ”said Russell.
In the last report commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (DHS), every day, nearly 424,000 children are placed in foster care in the United States. The same report found that, on average, children remain in state care for over a year and a half, and 5% of children in foster care languished there for five years or more. In 2019, one-third of children entering the U.S. foster care system were youth of color.
“We are a black founded and led organization and we have made it a priority to establish chapters in major cities across the United States that have large populations of black and brown youth in foster care or foster care. roaming, ”Russell said.
These statistics are certainly an incentive for the Precious Dreams Foundation to do everything possible to help this holiday season by providing ten thousand comforting gifts to youth in foster care and homeless shelters. “It’s a crazy, ambitious goal we’ve set for the vacation this month,” added Russell. “We are halfway our objective at this point, but on Christmas Eve, we would have served 10,000 gifts to these children.
The holidays are the opposite of heat and haze for millions of young people placed in foster families and homeless shelters across the country. Kids who navigate uncertainty all year round deserve comfort and something on their vacation wish list. The DHS report also found that around 10% of children placed in foster care live in institutions or group homes.
“I wondered what those kids were doing who might suffer from bad dreams or think there might be someone under the bed when there is no one to run to in the next room.” Russell told leGrio.
The Precious Dreams Foundation also benefits from the help of big names in its quest to help these children. The organization has partnered with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation where organizations will help foster families and homeless youth together in Florida, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Utah and Los Angeles.
The idea is to provide young people with a sense of stability and comfort, said Russell, who also added that the organization stays in touch with each young person for the long haul. “We are doing everything we can to try to help the youth in our program stay the course and pursue their dreams. “
Kelsey Minor is a 2x Emmy award-winning freelance journalist based in New York City. You can follow his work on Twitter @theKELSEYminor.
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